The fourth draft of Greater Matter is complete. I spent this morning contacting a number of people to help me with the way forward and am feeling frankly excited.
At the last minute I decided to change the title of the final (eighth) section from Blood in Ink to Facts of Blood - the former poem was published in the latest Ecca book, Throw in your Song; but thelatter poem is more permanent in its meaning. Here is an extract from it:
see the pink lamps
of flowering wild
on long stalks in
a kind of ecstatic submission to
the sun, as it turns
iron-red the luminous
trunks of pines in
the plantation [...]"
- from Facts of Blood, title poem of section 8 to appear in Greater Matter later this year.
As it happens, I've simultaneously just switched off an overnight bisque-firing of a kiln-load of ceramic parrot-broaches, ordered by the Cape Parrot Project for taking along to Ohio next week, to a parrot-lovers' indaba. Why is there a feeling of such beautiful order in all of my creative chaos?
Some of last year's batch of parrot broaches, photo taken in October 2018.
So happy. Am over the halfway mark with the fourth draft of Greater Matter. Having to re-read and work with the poems, it's making me miss Norman more again and simultaneously feel him closer than ever. I actually feel guilty for the irreverence of Life: at how hard I have to slog to stay close to what matters. This is slog like I've never allowed myself: not the usual duty and drudgery that's helped build my life in the past, it's more vital, but harder than anything I've ever experienced before. Destiny-type stuff. Even a mouse has a destiny ... each day, my own weakness is a revelation. And yes: I'm happy.
Greater Matter is slowly galumphing its way into the world. I'm onto the fourth draft of Sacred Space, which is the third section of the book. And I even managed to get the Contents Pages for Sections 1 and 2 done the other day! 54 pages, thus far ... though I spaced the poems more in Section 2 ... not sure it'll stay that way ...
Anyway, here's a poem from Sacred Space, a section which records the story of the singular adventure of Norman's wake-
Wrack of sobs
back home the day after you die in my arms
our house has been burgled –
route must pull over, stop the car
sobs so strong
crack my skull on the steering wheel
I not at the same time catching my head –
this way I feel
elemental Force of Love
me each time
- from Sacred Space, Section 3 of Greater Matter
And here - I'm so proud - writing down the page numbers. What a slog.
The poem by Norman Morrissey below is in Strandloop, while the bit by me is an extract from the title poem of my upcoming book of love poems, Path of Beauty. It shows his wisdom in relation to the world is so much greater than mine, though he was more than twenty years younger than I am now when he wrote the poem. May I live up to him yet.